National Youth Policy Forum | 26 February 2015
A coordinated approach to addressing issues affecting the youths
The National Youth Policy Forum is a multi-sectorial working group established under the auspices of the Youth Department with the primary role of providing advice and making recommendations aimed at ensuring youth policy objectives in priority areas of concern to young people are effectively carried out.
The Forum comprises the principal secretary for youth who is the chairperson, the principal secretaries for employment, for education, for health, for social affairs, the chief executive of SNYC (Seychelles National Youth Council), as well as its deputy and the director general for youth affairs.
The Forum convenes once every month and may co-opt other individuals to its meeting as and when necessary.
When creating the working group which constitutes the Forum, care was taken to ensure that the selected candidates adequately represent the more glaring priority areas identified for action, namely: education and training, economic participation, health and well-being, social ills, promotion of youth empowerment and moral values.
These are very sensitive issues which, if not sufficiently addressed, can adversely affect the lives and upbringing of our adolescents and youth, causing damage to their personal well-being. To note that discussions related to education, training and employment and healthy living continue to feature prominently in separate workshops and gatherings being held throughout the year.
Progress in other priority areas such as culture, environment and ICT, will be pursued with the same intensity albeit through different channels.
The National Youth Policy Forum represents a striking example of inter-ministerial co-operation bringing together a group of people, determined to address the challenges and concerns outlined in the National Youth Policy document.
It is to be recalled that the 2013-2017 edition of the National Youth Policy came into being in September 2013, following the approval of Cabinet and was officially launched during the Youth Festival the same year by Vice-President Danny Faure, in his capacity as Minister responsible for Youth. It was compiled following intense discussions and consultative work sessions held over several months with the participation of government agencies, civil society organisations and youth representatives from Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
As comprehensive as the policy might be, fulfilling its objectives requires the same kind of multi-sectorial effort and enthusiasm which were apparent during its formulation hence, the creation of the Forum.
Through a result-oriented approach, it strives to bring about workable solutions which would have a positive impact on the well-being of adolescents and youth who should continue to benefit from all the opportunities being put at their disposal.
The Forum has realised at least two major programmes the ‘SEYx30’ and ‘Values for One, Values for All’ which hold the promise of elevating the social well-being of the youth population.
Working in tandem with the Social Renaissance initiative, the ‘Values’ campaign seeks to reinforce the significance of making these noble principles so cherished by our society, a way of life within the family, the school compound, the workplace and the community at large.
The SEYx30 programme on the other hand aims to generally promote physical exercise as a vital component of healthy living while specifically encouraging young people from all corners to use it as a means to lessen, prevent and restrain the incidence of obesity and overweight which is now becoming rampant among the population.
Setting up the National Youth Policy Forum as a multi-sectorial entity is a way to acknowledge the importance of mobilising the effort and expertise of relevant stakeholders in a co-ordinated manner in order to achieve meaningful progress in a critical area such as youth development.